The difference between wage and salary defines more than how much you end up making per year. We use the terms to often describe differences in types of work, as well as what is actually counted in the final total.
Wages are generally paid per hour. This means that you have to be present and working in order to get paid. Most of the time, wage jobs are not as inclusive when it comes to things like paid vacations, or paid sick days. Wage earners often have to give up pay for leaving early, coming in late, missing a day, or taking a vacation.
Salary refers to how much you get paid every year. Salary earners rarely have to punch a time clock, or keep an accurate account of their hours, because they get paid for performance rather than by the hour. Salaried workers are much more likely to have paid sick days and paid vacations, and are not docked pay for being late or leaving early from time to time.
Salary can also be counted in terms other than money. Some companies consider reimbursement for things like medical insurance as part of your salary. You can even find some companies blending education and retirement contributions as part of your salary package.
Historically, we often refer to manual labor jobs as wage jobs, and professional jobs as salaried positions. Wage earners are more likely to be found in positions with high turnover, while salaries are often assigned for positions with low turnover.
We express wages as an hourly payment. We express salary as packages. You might find that you receive a base salary, stock options, retirement, benefits, and bonuses as a salary package.
Wages are more likely to be added up into additional payments. If you work 50 hours in one week, you may receive your first 40 hours at the regular pay rate, and the additional 10 hours at 1 ½ times your normal pay rate. Salary earners are not often given the opportunity to get paid extra for additional hours.
1. Wage earners are paid by the hour.
2. Salary earners are paid by the year.
3. Salary earners usually receive paid time when they are not working.
4. Wage earners often have to give up pay for time off.
5. Salaries are often calculated as packages.
6. Wage earners get paid more for working more than 40 hours per week.
7. Salary workers are rarely offered overtime pay.
8. Salaries can contain all kinds of benefits and perks